TWO businessmen have created a unique wedding venue in rural Dorset after investing £100,000 in the project.

Abbots Court at Winterborne Kingston, around 20 minutes from Poole, was operating as a bed and breakfast with limited success.

But in 2019, Simon Brooks of Seventa Events and James Maidment, who founded Canvas nightclub in Bournemouth, joined forces to take on the six acre site.

Mr Brooks said: “We have carried out huge renovation and refurbishment and have basically transformed it into what we think is something rather special and exclusive.”

During the pandemic which began shortly after the pair took over Abbot’s Court, they used it for staycations and continued the redevelopment work around that.

As well as the nine-bedroomed country house for 21 guests, there is a wedding ceremony room created from derelict stables, a newly re-landscaped walled garden and a new built oak framed, glass, wedding pavilion capable of hosting 120 people.

There’s a glamping area with six pods, a bespoke shepherd’s hut and hot showers.

And the venue has caught the imagination of couples looking for something different by way of a location.

Mr Brooks, whose company runs some of the Christmas festivities in Bournemouth added: “We held the first wedding in May and we now have 20 booked and confirmed for the rest of the year.

“We have had great feedback about the facilities and the setting which is pretty spectacular. People are blown away by it.”

The wedding party and guests have exclusive use of all the facilities for their big weekend or longer if they wish.

A further 24 weddings are already booked for 2023 but the number will be capped at 30 each year.

“We don’t want it to become a wedding factory,” said Mr Brooks. “We are really pleased with how things have turned out here. We fell in love with Abbots Court and we knew we could do something special with it.”